The British Society
 

Past Events

 

The primary mission of The British Society is to help others, but we are also a social organization. We engage an extensive community of British ex-pats and Anglophiles by organizing events for our members and their guests throughout New England. Sometimes events are held to raise funds, sometimes to raise the flag, but always to raise fun. We frequently partner on events with other British organizations and encourage you to become part of this friendly and supportive network.

Here are just a few examples of our past events:

 

A NEW LOOK AT THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION:
Daniel R. Coquillette, University Professor, Boston College, Law School, gave an engaging talk based on his five-volume set of Josiah Quincy Jr.'s papers.

ASPECTS OF LIFE IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSE:
The second of two highly entertaining lectures by renowned architectural historian Curt DiCamillo.

AWARD OF MERIT BANQUETS:
The 2013 honoree was Tony Woodcock, President of New England Conservatory. The 2012 honoree was Malcolm Rogers, Ann & Graham Gund Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

DAVID AUSTIN ROSES:
A wonderful lecture by Michael Marriott, senior rosearian at David Austin Roses, arranged by the Garden Club of Back Bay.

ENGLISH HERALDRY:
A fascinating presentation by Mr. John Shannon, President of The College of Arms Foundation, on English Heraldry and the origins of several of the current Royal Arms. During the optional dinner, Mr. Shannon explained how Americans may apply to The College of Arms for “proving a right to arms or for the granting of honorary arms.”

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN:
Mr. Hugo Vickers gave an illustrated lecture based upon a lifetime of his personal observation of The Royal Family, going all the way back to childhood.

HISTORIC CONCORD:
A private tour of The Old Manse, a National Historic Landmark, led by Yorkshireman Tom Beardsley from the Trustees of Reservation, followed by Afternoon Tea at the Colonial Inn.

ROYAL FOOD & KITCHENS:
A lecture by Dr. Lee Prosser, Curator, Historic Royal Palaces, gave us a unique insight into royal kitchens and royal eating, including how the rituals of royal dining had hidden meanings. Each attendee received one year complimentary membership in Historic Royal Palaces, the unoccupied royal palaces of London—the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, and Kew Palace.

SPORTING CLAYS:
A typical British shoot at Addieville East Farm in Mapleville, R.I., followed by lunch by Chef Tony Lussier. There were high birds, low birds, rabbits, and many crossing combinations that went so fast as to be almost invisible.

THE ANCESTRY OF CATHERINE MIDDLETON:
To celebrate the Royal Wedding, we gathered at the New England Historic Genealogical Society to hear an informative presentation by Chris Childs, who spent six years researching Kate’s ancestry—which revealed her family has some very interesting relations, including George Washington and Guy Ritchie. The Genealogical Society kindly gave each guest a three-day pass to their library, which contains the largest collection of British genealogical materials in the US.

THE CASTLE OF MEY:
A cocktail reception and talk by Lt. Col. James Murray and his wife Christina about their book “A Taste of Mey” and their experiences working for Her Majesty, The Queen Mother, at her home, The Castle of Mey.

THE QUANT DELUSION:
Stephen Blyth, Professor in the Statistics Department at Harvard University and a Managing Director at Harvard Management Company, which manages the Harvard University Endowment, gave an account of what went wrong during the financial crisis.

THE WAR MEMOIR OF (HRH) WALLIS, DUCHESS OF WINDSOR:
Reception and author’s presentation by Katharine Auspitz, political historian, Fulbright fellow (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford) and Harvard Ph.D. The memoir, apparently found in her former Paris home, is said to have been written in the Duchess's own hand and Dr. Auspitz added twenty-six pages of footnotes to ground the document in a historically accurate context. The British edition was published as “Wallis: My War”

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS PARTY:
Mulled wine, hors d'oeuvres, and good conversation, accompanied by live piano music at the beautifully decorated Beacon Hill Residence of the Consul General.

WESTMINSTER ABBEY:
The Very Reverend Dr. John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey, presented “Westminster Abbey: A Place for Royal Celebration” and recounted some of his personal impressions of officiating at the wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton. He also shared excerpts from his book “The Queen and Her Church.”